Updated November 27, 2013
Updated Player Deaths
Updated June 29, 2013
Added Sam Salemi and Ernie
Hall of Very Good
Updated June 2, 2013
Added Press Release
Updated May 12, 2013
Updated Walt Clay death
Updated June 30, 2012
Added Football Geography Committee
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23rd, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Palos Heights Library,
12501 S. 71st Avenue ,
Palos Heights, IL 60463. (708) 448-1473.
“When Football Was Football.” Join author Joe Ziemba for a
humorous look at the wacky early days of professional football, focusing
on the NFL’s oldest franchise, the Chicago (now Arizona) Cardinals. Relive
the rowdy, formative years of pro football through audience interaction,
rare archival photos, and surprising insight into historical figures such
as Red Grange, Jim Thorpe, George Halas and Al Capone.
February 1, 2014.
Winners of the Bob Carroll Memorial Writing Awards to be announced.
June 6-8, 2014. PFRA Bi-Annual Meeting. Cleveland, OH.
June 10-12, 2016. PFRA Bi-Annual Meeting. Green Bay, WI.
WHAT'S IN THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE COFFIN CORNER (Volume
35, Number 4):
(Due to the membership by August 31, 2013)
(Available for Immediate Download in the Members Only section)
2013 Pro Football Hall
of Fame Enshrinement Festival: A Photo Essay by Mark Palczewski. Photographs
from the Hall of Fame weekend in Canton by the newly-named official photographer
of the PFRA.
PFRA-ternizing. An announcement on the formation of local chapters of the
national PFRA and an official ballot for the four elective offices of the group.
(NOTE: Deadline for voting is October 31, 2013.)
The Class of 2013 by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Highlights,
statistics and awards from the football careers of the seven members in this
year’s Hall of Fame class.
A Kick for the Ages by Ed Gruver. A look back at Pat Summerall's
game-winning field goal against the Cleveland Browns in a blinding snowstorm on
the last day of the 1958 regular season—a victory that would ultimately propel
the New York Giants on to the "The Greatest Game Ever Played."
Correcting the Coaching Record by John Maxymuk. An attempt to set the
record straight in six standard references from both print and online sources on
head coaching omissions and the misallocations of wins and losses in the early
NFL and AAFC.
The Inner Circle by Roger Gordon. The story of head coach Sam Rutigliano
and the substance abuse support group he created to combat drug and alcohol
addiction among players in the early 1980s. Though the program no longer exists
within the Browns organization, the effort lives on in Coach Sam's Inner Circle
Foundation, a non-profit that works with disadvantaged children in inner-city
Official Photos from the Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies
BOOKS PUBLISHED BY PFRA FOOTBALL PUBLICATIONS:
The Early History of Professional Football - by
Professional Football Researchers Association. One volume edition of the Early
History of Professional Football. Starting with the origins of American Football
from ancient times to the development of the sport in Western Pennsylvania
(1890-1903) and all the way through the 1919 pro football season, a year before
the the NFL was formed, the Early History of Professional Football is a very
detailed look back at the beginnings of America's favorite sport. Written and
edited by the members of the Professional Football Researchers Association.
A Minor Masterpiece - by Bob Gill.
A one-volume edition
of the original two-volume PFRA publication, this book tells the story of the
longest-running minor league of its era: the American Association, which existed
from 1936-41, closed for the duration of World War II, then returned in 1946
renamed the American Football League. The season-by-season history also includes
1942, when several of the league’s teams kept playing as part of an independent
circuit in the Northeast. The account of each season includes text, standings,
statistical leaders, line scores for all games, rosters for each team, and a new
feature in this edition, game-by-game lineups.
RECENT FOOTBALL BOOKS BY PFRA MEMBERS:
The 1954 Montreal Alouettes: Big Four Champions and Almost Grey Cup Champions
- by Brian Marshall with Forewards by Mark Cohon, Larry Smith, Doug McNichol,
Joe Pal and Jerry Hogan. The story of the 1954 Montreal Alouettes is an
interesting one, it is the story of a team that achieved so much yet fell
short of the ultimate prize but it is also the story of a great team, with
many great players, that played in a great city during arguably the
greatest time to be a Montreal sports fan. The Larks were the 800 pound
gorilla that stomped through the Big Four jungle, leaving a path of
destruction throughout the 14 game regular season in the form of clear
superiority and domination. It was the smash-mouth, in your face brand of
football that Coach Peahead Walker was looking for since he came to the
Montreal Alouettes in 1952 but unfortunately didn't have enough of the pieces
in place at the time and the team had a dismal season.
America's Passion: How a Coal Miner's Game Became the NFL in the 20th Century - by
Evan Weiner. The National Football League is the premier sport in the United
States. But it always wasn't that way. Author Evan Weiner takes us back to the
days when the NFL was a mom and pop store operation with the players and others
who witnessed the league's growth first hand. The game started in the coal mines
in western Pennsylvania and is a multi-billion dollar business today.
...and a dollar short: The Empty Promises, Broken Dreams, and
Somewhat-Less-Than-Comic Misadventures of the 1974 Florida Blazers - by
Mark Speck. It's a great unwritten story that has finally been written! It's an
unforgettable story that shouldn't be forgotten!! It's a story of triumph,
loyalty, sacrifice and just plain old stubbornness. It's a story of men
overcoming almost overwhelming odds and a laundry-list of hardships, problems,
and distractions that never turned them from their ultimate goal, the league
championship. The Blazers went through two owners, four cities, and seven
nicknames before the team even played its first game. Their owners squabbled
between themselves and ultimately sued each other. A city that didn't seem to
want them and fans that didn't seem to care. They were a collection of men who
trusted each other led by a head coach who trusted them all. Through it all, the
Blazers won more games and a division title that no one predicted they'd win.
The story of the 1974 Florida Blazers of the ill-fated World Football League is
one that has almost been lost to the passage of time. But once you read this
almost-forgotten tale, you will never forget it.
The Canadian Pro Football Encyclopedia: Every Player, Coach and Game, 1946-2010 - by
Tod Maher and Bob Gill. The
Canadian Pro Football Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive reference source
ever published on the game of Canadian football. This book is teeming with
information and statistics for each of the 8,310 players who have played in the
modern-era of the Canadian Football League. The Canadian Pro Football
Encyclopedia goes beyond the players with game scores, historical highlights,
standings, team statistics and the records of the game’s head coaches.
The Cookie That Did Not Crumble - by
Cookie Gilchrist and Chris Garbarino. The Biography of Canadian Football League
and American Football League superstar Cookie Gilchrist. The book covers his
triumphs on the gridiron with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts of
the CFL, as well as his record setting days with the Buffalo Bills of the AFL.
Cookie's football prowess also brought him a front row seat to many historic
events during the 1960s, which are chronicled within the book. In addition to
covering Cookie's exploits on the field the book highlights his battles off the
field for civil rights and player health benefits, while giving insight into his
personal fight with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE as it is commonly
Football in Italy: First Steps - by Fausto Batella. The first Italian
American Football League story, 10 years of passions, deeds and impossible
dreams, with Lamar Hunt, Bob Kap, Bruno Beneck and Robert Carey. The milestones:
1972 Intercontinental Football League; 1973 IFL Roman Gladiators; 1979 Italian
Football League; 1979 Rome Gladiators; The "Vince Lombardi" Stadium; 1980 & 1981
Italian Championship; Memories, scores and statistics. English and Italian text.
Game Changers: 50 Greatest Plays in Buffalo Bills Football History (50 Greatest
Plays in Football History) - by Marv Levy and Jeff Miller.
Jeffrey Miller has teamed up
with Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy for his latest book, “Game
Changers: The Greatest Plays in Buffalo Bills Football History” (Triumph). From
“The Hit Heard ‘round the World” and “Big Ben” through “Wide Right” and “The
Music City Miracle,” Miller and Levy relive the most unforgettable on-the-field
moments in Bills history. The authors provide fascinating context for each of
the plays, the back story, all the relevant circumstances, and the thoughts of
many of those directly involved. Lushly illustrated with color and b&w photos
that help you follow the play as it unfolds, “Game Changers” reanimates many of
the most thrilling and heart-stopping moments in football.
Gridiron Gauntlet: The Story of the Men Who Integrated Pro Football, in Their
Own Words - by Andy Piascik. One year before Jackie Robinson broke the
color line in major league baseball, four black players joined the Cleveland
Browns and Los Angeles Rams to become the first African-American pro football
players in the modern era. Players who began their careers from 1946 to 1955
reminisce about the violence they faced on and off the field, the world of
segregation and the violence it brought, but also of white players and coaches
who assisted and supported their careers.
The Man Who Built the National Football League: Joe F. Carr - by Chris
Willis. Founded in 1920, the National Football League chose famed athlete Jim
Thorpe as its first president, a position he held briefly until a successor was
elected. From 1921 to 1939, Joe F. Carr guided the sport of professional
football with intelligence, hard work, and a passion that built the foundation
of what the NFL has become: the number one sports organization in the world.
During his 18-year tenure as NFL President, Carr created the organization's
first Constitution & By-Laws; implemented the standard player's contract; wrote
the NFL's first-ever Record and Fact Book; helped split the NFL into two
divisions and establish the NFL's World Championship Game; started keeping
league statistics; and developed the NFL Draft. But Carr's greatest achievement
was creating a vision for the NFL as a big-city sport. By skillfully recruiting
financially capable owners to operate NFL franchises in big market cities, he
created the solid foundation for the league's successful future. While the sport
has grown to unheard of heights, Carr's name and accomplishments have been lost
and forgotten. The Man Who Built the National Football League: Joe F. Carr
captures the life and career of this pivotal figure in professional sports,
chronicling the many achievements of a man whose vision helped shaped what the
NFL is today. With unlimited access and complete cooperation from the Carr
family, including family interviews, personal letters, and family photos, as
well as NFL League Minutes, Willis recounts the fascinating life and career of a
man dedicated to the game.
Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe - by
Kate Buford. A detailed biography of Jim Thorpe, one of the founders of the
National Football League.
Nothing Comes Easy: My Life in Football - by Y.A. Tittle and Kristine
Setting Clark. Tittle's autobiography covers his life beginning with his
Marshall, Texas, schoolboy heroics, continues through his time at Louisiana
State University, and includes his many years in the professional ranks. His
football story culminates with the Giants climactic playoff loss to the Chicago
Bears in 1963. This loss, Tittle's last chance at a championship, is captured in
the Sports Illustrated Photo of the Century, showing Tittle kneeling on the
field, bleeding from the head. As he describes the glorious and not so glorious
games, players, life on the road, and his path after football, Tittle delivers
the kind of awe-inspiring story that can only come from the man who has lived
this incredible life. With a foreword written by his good friend and former
teammate, Frank Gifford, Y.A.'s lively account of his life and Hall of Fame
career will appeal to fans of all ages.
On Any Given Sunday: A Life of Bert Bell - by Bob Lyons. Bert Bell, a
native of Philadelphia, has been called the most powerful executive figure in
the history of professional football. He was responsible for helping to
transform the game from a circus sideshow into what has become the most popular
spectator sport in America. In On Any Given Sunday, the first biography of this
important sports figure, historian Robert Lyons recounts the remarkable story of
how de Benneville “Bert” Bell rejected the gentility of a high society lifestyle
in favor of the tougher gridiron, and rose to become the founder of the
Philadelphia Eagles and Commissioner of the National Football League.
The Original Buffalo Bills: A History of the All-America Football Conference
Team - by Kenneth R. Crippen. The Buffalo Bills of the National Football
League are known for having a fervent fan base, but the city's love affair with
their football team dates back more than half a century. As members of the
fledgling All-America Football Conference, the Buffalo Bills were one of the
strongest teams in the league in 1948 and 1949, their final years of play. The
team had such an impact on the city and on professional football that current
franchise owner Ralph Wilson, when searching for a home for his American
Football League team, settled in Buffalo and named the team in honor of the
Outsiders II: Minor League and Independent Football 1951-1985 - by Bob
Gill, Steve Brainerd and Tod Maher. Following the pattern set with Outsiders I
(which covered 1923-1950), this volume covers the independent minor leagues of
professional football from 1951 through 1985. Only semipro leagues existed after
1985, and so the two volumes of Outsiders cover the complete history of 20th
century football below the National Football League. Many players in these
leagues played in the hope that they might get a chance to move up to the NFL
and many achieved that dream. This volume contains histories and yearly
statistical summaries for the top minor leagues of the period, plus the World
Football League, which has a claim to major league status, and the United States
Football League, which was clearly a major league. It also includes yearly
summaries for the best of the lesser leagues, which featured a good number of
interesting players in their own right.
Pro Football Championships Before the Super Bowl - by Joe Page. While
the NFL Super Bowl has become a worldwide cultural event, the annual league
championship games had a long history even before the first Super Bowl in
January, 1967. From the first American Football League's attempt to settle the
league title on the gridiron in 1926 to the separate NFL and AFL championships
of the 1965 season, this history offers a narrative of each game, including
line-ups, box scores, and team statistics.
Pro Football's Most Passionate Fans: Profiles of Fans Honored at the Pro
Football Hall of Fame With the Visa Hall of Fans Award - by
Harvey Aronson. Professional football is the most popular sport in the United
States today. With so many famous players from the past and present, some of
whom achieved notoriety because of a persona they created, there are fans who
have also made a name for themselves by either their work and loyalty for their
team, or by creating an "alter ego" with respect to how they cheer or support
their team. In 1998, Visa sponsored a national contest to find the wildest, most
loyal, and most intriguing fans for each team in the league. The award was
entitled, "The Visa Hall of Fans" Award as fans were chosen from each team based
on their submitted essays and photos.
The Pro Football Playoff Encyclopedia - by
Tod Maher and Bob Gill. The Pro Football Playoff Encyclopedia is the
ultimate guide to the history of the National Football League playoffs . From
the landmark first NFL championship game in 1933 to Super Bowl XLV, The Pro
Football Playoff Encyclopedia gives you unprecedented details of every
playoff game. No other source — in print or online — can match The Pro
Football Playoff Encyclopedia.
Quarterback Abstract - by John Maxymuk. Each quarterback's statistical
information is presented here, from his scoring totals to his draft status and
personal information. Author John Maxymuk has devised a sophisticated rating
system that compares the quarterbacks across the decades. Who were they? What
were their playing styles? How good were they? A full spectrum of numerical data
is presented, from passing and rushing data to fourth-quarter game-winning-drive
totals and won-lost records. Maxymuk also provides incisive analysis and
interesting anecdotes, fleshing out each field general's personality.
WHAT'S BEING DONE BY PFRA COMMITTEES:
Central and Northern New
Hall of Very
Football Geography Committee
Pre-NFL Pro Football Committee
Western New York Committee
Television Commentators Committee
Uniforms of Past
OTHER NOTABLE WORK BY PFRA MEMBERS:
Buffalo All-Americans/Bisons Historical Society
Fourth and Goal
Ghosts of the Gridiron
Gridiron Greats Magazine
of the Gridiron
Official Site of the Dayton Triangles
Pro Football Archives
Rock Island Independents
Football Card Gallery
WFL Football Cards